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Assemblages and actor-networks: Rethinking socio-material power, politics and space


Müller, Martin (2015). Assemblages and actor-networks: Rethinking socio-material power, politics and space. Geography Compass, 9(1):27-41.

Abstract

Assemblage thinking and actor-network theory (ANT) have been at the forefront of a paradigm shift that sees space and agency as the result of associating humans and non-humans to form precarious wholes. This shift offers ways of rethinking the relations between power, politics and space from a more processual, socio-material perspective. After sketching and comparing the concepts of the assemblage and the actor-network, this paper reviews the current scholarship in human geography which clusters around the four themes of deterritorialisation / reterritorialisation; power; materials, objects and technologies; and topological space. Looking towards the future, it suggests that assemblage thinking and ANT would benefit from exploring links with other social theories, arguing for a more sustained engagement with issues of language and power, and affect and the body.

Abstract

Assemblage thinking and actor-network theory (ANT) have been at the forefront of a paradigm shift that sees space and agency as the result of associating humans and non-humans to form precarious wholes. This shift offers ways of rethinking the relations between power, politics and space from a more processual, socio-material perspective. After sketching and comparing the concepts of the assemblage and the actor-network, this paper reviews the current scholarship in human geography which clusters around the four themes of deterritorialisation / reterritorialisation; power; materials, objects and technologies; and topological space. Looking towards the future, it suggests that assemblage thinking and ANT would benefit from exploring links with other social theories, arguing for a more sustained engagement with issues of language and power, and affect and the body.

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39 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:01 Apr 2015 15:38
Last Modified:23 Nov 2017 09:27
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1749-8198
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12192

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